Vegetation Change

Vegetation and environmental changes in western Chinese Loess Plateau since 13.0 ka BP

  • 1. School of Geography Science, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China;
    2. MOE Key Laboratory of Western China’s Environmental Systems, College of Earth &|Environment Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China;
    3. Department of Geology, Baylor University, Waco, TX76795, USA;
    4. College of Resources Science and Technology Research, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Sun Aizhi (1979-), Ph.D and Associate Professor, specialized in pollen and environmental changes in Quaternary. E-mail:

Received date: 2009-04-22

  Revised date: 2009-08-25

  Online published: 2010-04-15

Supported by

National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, 40025105; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 40331012; NSF Project, No.EAR 0402509; No.BCS 00-78557; Doctoral Fund from Southwest University, No.104220-20710904; CSTC, No.2009BB7112


Pollen records from the Chinese Loess Plateau revealed a detailed history of vegetation variation and associated climate changes during the last 13.0 ka BP. Before 12.1 ka BP, steppe or desert-steppe vegetation dominated landscape then was replaced by a coniferous forest under a generally wet climate (12.1–11.0 ka BP). The vegetation was deteriorated into steppe landscape and further into a desert-steppe landscape between 11.0 and 9.8 ka BP. After a brief episode of a cool and wet climate (9.8–9.6 ka BP), a relatively mild and dry condition prevailed during the early Holocene (9.6–7.6 ka BP). The most favourable climate of warm and humid period occurred during mid-Holocene (7.6–~4.0 ka BP) marked by forest-steppe landscape and vegetation alternatively changed between steppe and desert- steppe from ~4.0 to ~1.0 ka BP.

Cite this article

SUN Aizhi, FENG Zhaodong, MA Yuzhen . Vegetation and environmental changes in western Chinese Loess Plateau since 13.0 ka BP[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2010 , 20(2) : 177 -192 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-010-0177-y


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